Formula One car development blog

Working around the ban on the starter motor hole

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Attempting to further close loopholes in the regulations, the FIA have removed the possibility for teams to gain a substantial aerodynamic benefit from the starter motor hole in the diffuser. A first regulation change in this area was implemented back in 2010 after teams started to create unusually shaped starters, allowing them to make a larger starter hole in the diffuser, and thereby extract more performance from it. Back then, the FIA stepped in, allowing the hole to be no large... Read more

Did Mercedes take a close look at the RB10?

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Having enjoyed a reliable test Jerez, Mercedes have begun varying aerodynamic parts and verify performance, rather than only reliability. Mercedes appear to have had a very close look at Red Bull's rear end packaging during its few outings at Jerez as the team have introduced new bodywork around the exhaust.

Until noon, the F1 W05 was seen with the same spec as in Jerez, with narrow bodywork around the central exhaust and large oval cooling outlets on each side of the gearbox. The n... Read more

A closer look at McLaren's butterfly suspension

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McLaren have come up with the first real innovation of the year by creating rear suspension wishbones that are very different to what we usually see. It is the normal approach to have a horizontal teardrop design, almost parallel to the reference plane in order to minimize drag created by the suspension elements. McLaren's version though as just a bit different.

The team's approach is far away from drag reduction. Instead, the elements are rather big with a cross section similar to ... Read more

New Ferrari sidepod panel makes it to race day

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Scuderia Ferrari have introduced another part to their F138, namely a new sidepod panel with a small bridge bending over the sidepod shoulder. The item was previously tested during free practice sessions, but before the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend never made it past Friday evening. At Autodromo Carlos Pace however, both cars had the new element fitted during qualifying, hence they will also be used during tomorrow's Grand Prix.

The item is designed to better control airflow over t... Read more

Wheel rim coatings to heat the tyres

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Even though it's been known for a while, recent thermal imagery has shown the true effects of rim coatings to manage tyre temperatures. The coatings were first photographed on Mercedes AMG's Advanti wheels, featuring dimples on the inside of the rim as well (inset). Later on, Red Bull was confirmed to also use a similar treatment of their OZ Racing wheels, although in their case the inside of the wheels features grooves rather than dimples. Ferrari meanwhile are said to be coating t... Read more

Williams experiments without Coanda, and finds car improved

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Williams started the Abu Dhabi weekend by fitting Pastor Maldonado's FW35 with a non-coanda exhaust configuration, trying to do some testing for 2014 where such an exhaust will be entirely banned. Even though the exhaust positions are not quite what it will have to be in 2014- where a single exhaust pipe in the centre of the car will be mandatory - , the team hoped that be removing the exhaust channel (inset) they would get more consistent readings that are not that much influenced ... Read more

McLaren continues with small updates

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McLaren continue to add small updates to its car, possibly evaluating the effect of items with 2014 in mind. Already seen in Korea, the front wing had new pillars, moved back considerably. In fact the entire middle part of the front wing is new, along with the positions of the camera in between the pillars. Moving them backward meant that the team can better exploit the venturi effect that is being created by the long pillars, a feature that is rather common today in F1, as is the l... Read more

What to learn from a temperature camera?

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Since the introduction of Formula One's new thermal camera images, there has been talk about the relevancy of the images, leaving apart the obvious coolness that is associated with it. It is for sure that such imaging will help people understand the complex nature of Formula One, and increase the technical interest in the sport.

Before going into what we've been seeing, one needs to take into account that the images are not meant to give away technical details that other teams could... Read more

Ferrari's make-or-break Singapore upgrade

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The Singapore Grand Prix weekend has repeatedly been dubbed as the decisive point in the season for Ferrari to see whether or not it should continue to develop its F138. In a final attempt to keep in the championship race, the team came up with a raft of updates and will evaluate after the race if it was enough to stay in the hunt for a championship. Initial Friday sings though show that Ferrari may have dropped back to the pace it had at Hungary and other high downforce tracks in t... Read more

McLaren runs simplest front wing of the year

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The McLaren MP4-28 hasn't been the greatest car of the year, particularly because of the change to a pull rod front suspension. The team admitted earlier that this is one of the reasons why the car is underperforming, as the aerodynamic effects of this change affected the entire car. McLaren largely underestimated the effort if would take, and consequently started changing the front wing early in the season to try to get the car back on track.

The result is a fairly simple front wi... Read more